The Ambassador Alfred Hoffman, Jr. Center for Critical Minerals Strategy
SAFE’s Center for Critical Minerals Strategy is dedicated to building secure, sustainable, and ethical supply chains for electric vehicle batteries in North America.
To create these supply chains, both domestically and with our allies, the Center advocates for:
- Securing responsible supply chains for critical minerals and materials necessary for the transportation, energy, and technology innovations of the future.
- Establishing a new social compact for responsible mineral production and processing both at home and among our allies.
- Promoting a thriving critical minerals-based economy within the United States for transportation, energy, and technology industries reliant upon critical minerals, including establishing marketplace for ethically and sustainably sourced goods.
News & Events
Minerals Center Team
Senior Policy Analyst
Acting Director, Center for Critical Mineral Strategy
In April 2023 Abigail Hunter became Director of International Affairs and Partnerships, a new position within the SAFE Center for Critical Mineral Strategy. Previously, Hunter led federal government affairs for nearly three years as the senior attaché in Washington, D.C., for Quebec, Canada’s most mineral-rich province. In Hunter’s new role she will sustain existing SAFE partnerships and develop new ones to reduce – in a sustainable and ethical way – the free world’s critical mineral dependencies on the People’s Republic of China and other Foreign Entities of Concern. Hunter’s association with SAFE began as a student fellow in October 2022, when she began providing writing and research support to the SAFE Center for Strategic Industrial Materials, leading to C-SIM’s seminal report on aluminum supply challenges published in February.
Before joining Quebec’s DC office in 2020, she led international programs for the U.S. National Governors Association, where her portfolio included trade negotiations and overseas missions. Hunter is completing a Masters in Sustainable Energy at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies. Her paper on North American grid connections was published by JHU’s Initiative for Sustainable Energy.
Vice President of Development
Gourang Wakade is the Vice President of Development for SAFE and its sister organization, the Electrification Coalition (EC).
He leads a lean development team to develop and execute a comprehensive fundraising strategy that yields sustained multi-year funding results. Building on the success achieved to date by SAFE EC, Gourang manages a collective fundraising portfolio of $16 Million and is in charge of the overall development systems and strategy while focusing primarily on identifying, cultivating, and soliciting high net worth individuals and foundations, with particular attention on increasing unrestricted funding for both organizations.
He is an experienced fundraiser with a large and varied global network and has proven success in raising and securing multi-year six-figure plus funding commitments for complex and demanding projects across a variety of industries including non-profit, corporate finance, and higher education. Prior to SAFE, Gourang served as the Vice President of Development for the Council on Competitiveness, a non-profit membership association of CEOs, University Presidents, Labor Leaders, and National Lab Directors. In addition to managing membership, and development at the Council on Competitiveness, Gourang was the lead for the organization’s bi-annual fundraiser, the America Competes Award, that honored Business and Civic Leaders for their contributions to ensure American Competitiveness. He also produced and managed sponsorships for the organization’s Annual National Competitiveness Summit. Gourang also served as the Director of Conferences and Engagement, for the Global Federation of Competitiveness Councils where he actively recruited leaders from around the world to join and fund the establishment of the organization.
Gourang has a Bachelor’s in Arts degree from the College of Wooster, Oh. He also serves on the Fundraising Committee for the Spring Gala of the Hillwood Estate Museum and Gardens in Washington, DC.